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Records tumble in Olympic velodrome

Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish broke the world record winning the team sprint at the Track World Cup. The time showed that the Olympic velodrome is built for speed, 6 months before the London Olympics.

It was a confidence-boosting triumph over their fierce rivals, the Australian team of Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch. The world record came as an unexpected bonus.

The British cyclists showed their form in morning qualifying, when Varnish produced a personal best for her start lap, and Pendleton followed suit, producing her best lap time since the Beijing Olympics. The British team broke through the 33 second barrier for the event.

They went even faster in the final, gambling with a higher gear ratio and clocking a time of 32.754 seconds. "We were pleased this morning and I can't explain how happy we are," Pendleton said. "We just wanted to squeeze a little more out, so we experimented with different gears. We thought 'why not?' as we were going to get silver even in the worst case. We've laid down a marker for ourselves: doing a time like that is fantastic for the confidence."

The Olympic velodrome, already nicknamed the Pringle, witnessed another British gold and another world record from the women’s team pursuit. Laura Trott, Dani King and Jo Rowsell saved their best for the final, where they clocked a record time of 3 minutes 18.148 seconds.

It was an example of a team learning quickly. They had started too fast in qualifying. A steadier start through the first 4 laps in the final left them the reserves to secure the record and the gold.

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